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RE: engineering software

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> ----------
> From: 	Rex Donahey[SMTP:rdonahey(--nospam--at)thermomass.com]
> Reply To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Sent: 	Thursday, November 11, 1999 4:03 PM
> To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: 	RE: engineering software
> 
> I'm amazed that STAAD still exists.  One would hope that such an
> unreliable
> program would be driven from the marketplace.  Structural engineers, of
> all
> people, should demand quality tools.
> 
> 
> 
Speaking of quality tools, it would be better to compare more. We are going
to the next century. How many software vendors can keep upgrading their
software to meet the future techniques? That is a big question to consider
the potential and quality of software vendor. You can check your structural
software,  and find out more.


(1) Asynchronous parallel solvers:
Parallel processing was introduced in 1970s. Parallel processing allows an
application to use all the CPUs to speed up and accelerate computing. NSF,
DOE, ,,, have supported many researches in parallel processing. Undoubtedly,
parallel processibg is a trend for scientific and engineering computing.
Does your structural software provide this feature? Most structural software
mentioned in the list is more than 10-year-old. When will your software
vendor provide you with parallel processing power? If your software does not
have this feature, what kind of computer is suitable for you? The answer is
simple "high-end computer is not for you, and multiprocessor computer is a
waste for you." There is a young package, IFAS, that has the most advanced
asynchronous parallel solvers for static, dynamic, and FE analysis of
effective length factors. On a single CPU computer, IFAS run as usual. On
multiprocessors, IFAS can use all the CPUs to accelerate computing.


(2) Parallel visualization:
Speaking of graphical representation, is your structural software able to
use all the CPUs to draw graphics? When will your software vendor provide
you with this feature? IFAS is able to use all the CPUs to implement
parallel visualization. High performance.


(3) User-friendly environment:
This is an important factor to consider a package. The preprocessor of IFAS
has 4.8-mega bytes of executible, and postprocessor has 4.4 mega bytes. Is
there any package bigger than IFAS?


(4) partially rigid analysis:
This may be the method for structural analysis and design in the next
century. When will your software vendor provide this feature? IFAS already
provide this powerful feature, partially rigid static analysis and partially
rigid dynamic analysis. Presently, structural professionals simply make an
assumption that connection is perfect rigid, but they never check if their
assumption is OK in their final design. It is wrong for structural
professionals to ignore the final verification on the assumption. You can
recall many engineering designs have an assumption in the beginning, but the
final design checks if the assumption is valid. If the assumpiton does not
hold in the design, a new assumption must be applied to start another
analysis and design until the assumption is OK in the final design. However,
the structural method we apply today never checks if the assumption is valid
in the final design. The tomorrow method, partially rigid analysis, can
provide a better and accurate analysis for safer design. IFAS already has
this new method.



If you like to know quality tools, please compare more. IFAS is young, not
well-known. Free evaluation copy can be downloaded at
http://sites.netscape.net/ifasusa/index.html
or http://homepages.msn.com/RedmondAve/w_drinkwater

Distributors are welcome.